A Federal appeals court has ruled that a 43-foot Christian cross located at a public war memorial in San Diego is unConstitutional, which is the latest decision in a legal battle that has spanned two decades.
On Jan. 4, the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said that the cross, which sits atop a monument dedicated to war veterans, violates the Constitutional provision of separation of church and state. According to media reports, the three-judge panel reversed a 2008 ruling by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns who said that the cross could remain.
The appeals court did not order that the cross be removed, but instead sent the case back to a trial judge to determine what modifications were needed for the cross to be considered a Constitutional war memorial.
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), speaking on behalf of 25 members of Congress, said the appeals court ruling is a "slap in the face" to military veterans.
"This flawed decision not only strikes at the heart of honoring our military veterans, it reaches a faulty conclusion that this iconic memorial, part of the historic landscape of San Diego, is unConstitutional," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ. "We believe the appeals court got this decision wrong and we look forward to the case going to the Supreme Court where we're confident this decision will be overturned."